“Music to My Ears” is a series of recurring posts showcasing the music of artists from around the world.
Yes, that Idris Elba.
About the Artists:
So, apparently I’m the last to know that in addition to being a great actor, Idris Elba also writes and produces music. But better late than never!
What can’t this man do?
The album this song comes from, “Mi Mandela” was inspired by his role in Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom as the South African leader, whose life and influence made a global impact.
Audra Mae is a folk/ country singer signed to indie label SideOneDummy Records. In addition to releasing several of her own albums, Mae has had work featured on the FX show “Sons of Anarchy”, and she was featured in Avicii’s “Addicted to You”.
Cody ChesnuTT is a rock/r&b/ neo soul singer hailing from Atlanta. The Roots remade his song, “The Seed” and featured it on their album Phrenology under the title “The Seed 2.0”
About the Song:
Elba credits “Tree” as being the most personal song on his album. Inspired by passing of his father, the song addresses life, love, death, freedom, and remembrance.
Though the subject it addresses is often viewed as sad and heavy, the music, lyrics, and vocals are anything but. The music is jovial, the lyrics hopeful, and the vocals are light and dreamy.
My interpretation: For those that die, death is as much a reunion as it is a parting. For those of us left here, though sadness is natural, we have to keep living, building/maintaining our community, and keeping the memory of those who have gone on before us.
Why I Chose It:
I like that the song acknowledges the sadness that lies in death, but also the joy that can come from it.
Unfortunately, I, like Elba, have lost a close relative to a serious illness. While I would have given anything to have had a few more days with that person (or at least some advance notice that our time was limited- like seriously, God 😦 ), I had to recognize that her passing wasn’t just the end of a life- it was the end of a whole lot of suffering as well. Anyone who’s been there knows that it hurts to see a strong, stubborn person grow weak before your eyes.
Though physically she’s no longer with us, she lives on in her granddaughter’s sass, her daughter’s ingenuity, and the compassion she taught us all to show for others.
Her love continues to grow.